How to Have a Healthy Halloween
About 4 percent of all candy eaten in the U.S is consumed on one day — Halloween.
In fact, in the week leading up to Halloween, Americans buy 90 million pounds of chocolate.
Yes, you read that right.
With that much candy to satisfy our sweet tooth, eating healthy on Halloween is a challenge. I know the holiday invites people to indulge, but the trick to enjoying your Halloween treats is mixing in some good-for-you items with the more decadent stuff.
One of the best ways to cut your Halloween calorie count is to make your own treats. Homemade treats typically have more nutritional value than store-bought candy and can be a good source of fruits, vegetables, whole grains or low-fat dairy. For example, try popcorn tossed with cinnamon or dark chocolate-covered fresh fruit as healthier alternatives to candy. Make kid-friendly pumpkin treats, like fiber-packed cinnamon-roasted pumpkin seeds or vitamin A-rich pumpkin mini-muffins (or cookies). Smoothies made with low-fat yogurt, canned pumpkin, cinnamon, banana and ice also are a good alternative, as is apple slices with a fruit dip made with yogurt, canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. And if you’re in the mood for something savory, try these Jack O’ Latern sweet potato fries or mini pumpkin quesadillas.
One of my favorite healthy Halloween treats is pumpkin hummus. It goes great with pita wedges, whole grain crackers or fresh veggies. Here’s the recipe:
- 2 Tbsp Tahini
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 garlic clove chopped
- 1 (15oz) can of pumpkin
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 4 pitas, cut into 8 wedges
Preheat oven to 425°. Place pita wedges on baking sheet; coat with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 6 minutes or until toasted.
Place first 7 ingredients in a food processor, and process until smooth. Add parsley; pulse until blended. Spoon hummus into a serving bowl and sprinkle with pumpkin seed kernels. Serve with pita wedges.
Yield 10 servings. Serving size: 3 Tbsp hummus and 3 pita wedges
Nutrition Information. Calories 117, Fat 2.6g, Protein 3.7g, Carbohydrate 20.4g, Fiber 2.1g, Sodium 330mg
What about candy?Sure, many people will opt for candy rather than hummus on Halloween. So if you’re part of that group, try to fill your basket with “healthier” sweets. This chart shows low-calorie Halloween candies and their calorie counts.
Basically, they’re the “best of the worst.” Enjoy them in moderation and have a safe, happy (and healthy) Halloween.
|Hershey’s Miniatures||1 miniature||42|
|Reese’s Mini Cup||1 mini cup||44|
|Hershey’s Nuggets||1 nugget||45|
|Haribo Gummi-Bears||1 snack size bag||50|
|Sour Patch Kids||1 fun size bag||50|
|Swedish Fish||1 fun size bag||50|
|Nestlé Crunch||1 fun size bar||60|
|York Peppermint Patty||1 snack size||60|
|Kit Kat||1 snack size bar||70|
|Mounds||1 fun size bar||80|
|Twix||1 fun size bar||80|